Dextran(redirected from dextran 40)
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(C6H10O5)n, a polysaccharide of bacterial origin, a polymer of glucose. The molecular weight can be as high as 10,000,000. In the linear part of the dextran molecule the glucose residues are joined by bonds between the first and sixth carbon atoms; branching is due to bonds between the first and fourth, first and third, and first and second atoms. Dextran is obtained by growing microorganisms of the genus Leuconostoc in an artificial culture medium. Dextran, in the form of a partially hydrolyzed solution with not less than 90 percent 1.6 linkages and a molecular weight of about 60,000 is used clinically as a blood plasma substitute. The preparation provides for a normal osmotic pressure corresponding to that of blood. Modified dextran, so-called Sephadex, is used in chromatography.